Hello again! Back in Siem Reap, I reconnected with Chalky who had more fun adventures planned. One day, he brought his 9 year old daughter Nika along with us, and we visited the lake where many of the locals hangout on hot days. After passing through the lotus fields and a quick stop at the market, we arrived and rented a spot in the shade with a rug and three hammocks. Chalky treated us to some snacks and drinks while we relaxed and enjoyed the view of the water. Of course, a jealous cat found us in search of food 🙂
On the way back, we stopped to climb the steps to a temple to see the view over the lake and the village below. It was a perfect spot to stretch our legs!
A couple days later, Chalky asked if I would come to his home for a barbeque with a few of his friends. I was so honored he wanted to do this to immerse me in his culture and show me the way of Cambodian cooking. First we stopped at a local market to gather the food for the evening; vegetables, black river shrimp, and fish, as well as some sticky rice appetizers steamed in bamboo. He also had some beef that he purchased at the market earlier to round out the flavors on the barbeque. The last photo is the garbage truck that came by the market….I love the trucks here!
When we arrived at his home, he began making the sauce, prepping the food, and cutting the wood for the fire we would later cook on. While doing this, Nika rode her bike to the store several times gathering a few missing ingredients and beer for the evening. When she returned with the beer, I laughed and said, “I can’t believe you just went and got beer for us!” They looked at me puzzled and I had to explain that back home if a 9 year old rode their bike to the store for beer it would definitely not be a successful journey!
When the food was ready and the fire was started, his friends began showing up. They were all so friendly and one even greeted me with a serenade!
As the evening progressed and a few beers went down, more people arrived, including some of the wives. We talked, laughed, and danced! Chalky even took it upon himself to model some of the clothes I donated for those in need. What a hoot!
The evening came to a beautiful close as one of his friends joined me for company in the tuk-tuk and we rode back in the moonlight.
I hope you enjoyed a taste of the life in Cambodia!
Love and Hugs, Michelle